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Wed 3 Oct 2007 01:40 PM

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Scraping the Sky

Burj Dubai from UAE real estate developer Emaar has become the world's tallest building - but for how long?

EXCLUSIVE: Latest official image of the Burj Dubai construction at 152 stories (564.9 metres / 1,853 feet).

Burj Dubai became the world's tallest building in July this year, before becoming the tallest free-standing structure in September. Currently, it stands at 564.9 metres (1,853 feet), but when it is complete it expected to be 818 metres (2,684 feet).

The Freedom Tower, set to replace the World Trade Center buildings, would be 541.3 metres (1,776 feet), with the emphasis on feet more important with 1776 representing the date of American independence. When completed, it would stand as the tallest building in New York City, and also as the country's tallest before Chicago Spire.

In China, the Shanghai World Financial Center is said to be completed next year at 492 metres (1,614 feet) whilst the International Commerce Centre in Hong Kong is set to reach 484 metres (1,588 feet).

Proposed - to compete

New proposed real estate projects threaten to steal the coveted titles that the Burj Dubai now holds - and the Arabian Gulf is leading the competition worldwide.

The tallest of these is Mubarak Al-Kabir Tower which is under proposal to be built in Kuwait. Its height would be 1,500 metres (4,921 feet), nearly doubling the height of the Burj Dubai, and might be built as early as 2011.

In Bahrain, the Murjan Tower is expected to be 1,022 metres (3,353 feet) and in Dubai itself, al-Burj is a new tower planned by Nakheel at 1,200 metres (3,936 feet) tall, though there are few details about when either project will commence construction.

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